“Towers” is the newest single from Philadelphia based band, PHNTMS. The rock single explores the expectations people have of others and themselves. Relatable themes such as the one evident in this newest single are apparent in all of PHNTMS’s music; as the band typically pulls from their own lives for inspiration.
ECHO chatted with Adam Jessamine of PHNTMS about “Towers,” their upcoming self titled EP, and more.
Where did the inspiration for “Towers” come from?
“Towers” is all about expectations. We are all force-fed dreams of great jobs, nice houses, new cars and perfect lives. We each have our own definition of “perfect” revolving around these things. When things get hard, if you aren’t happy with yourself and the situation you’re in, no one can change that but you. At the end of the day, as humans, our expectations are the reason why we feel disappointed. Having your own personal goals is the reason you keep on pushing.
What did the writing process for “Towers” look like?
The music for “Towers” stemmed from an idea that Mikal had. The music came first, then it was one of those things where the vocals just clicked instantly. We did preproduction ourselves before we recorded the song at Vudu Studio with producer Mike Watts.
If you could set fans up in the perfect environment to listen to “Towers,” what do you imagine it looking like?
That’s a tough question. Right about now we would love to have people hear the song while we played it live at a show, but we’ll settle for Spotify or Apple Music haha.
Where did the name PHNTMS come from?
The name PHNTMS and the idea behind the band came from seeing one of my favorite bands Acceptance’s resining shows in NYC. I was tired of the music situation I was in and was really inspired to start something that I could be emotionally invested in. The name of their first record was called “Phantoms.”
How did you all get connected?
Frustrated from a previous band, I left to try to do something that I felt emotionally connected to. I had been working on some material and asked Mikal from my previous band to help demo songs while we looked for a singer. We had someone and it really wasn’t vibing, but I had studio time booked. I was talking to a roommate at the time about the whole situation late one night and she casually mentioned her cousin could sing. She showed me and it was like meant to be. I reached out to Alyssa immediately. She said as soon as she heard the track; which became our first song “Foreign Places,” she knew it was something special, and it all just clicked. Within two weeks we recorded our first song. We also had tried out around four or five drummers before we found Gene and that’s how PHNTMS was born.
For people who aren’t familiar with your music, how would you describe your sound?
We’ve been told we are Soulpop or Soul rock; which I never heard before and we really love the sound of that. I love to think we are a rock band with powerful vocals. We love dynamics and have acoustic songs to heavy songs.
You’ve opened for acts including Kings of Leon, The 1975, Bastille and Fitz & The Tantrums. What was that like?
Honestly, gigs like that are dreams come true and it makes everything worth it. All the things you have to sacrifice lead up to moments like those, and they are unforgettable experiences that will live with us forever. Playing to 10,000 plus people is one of the greatest feelings in the world.
What can fans expect from your upcoming EP?
Lots of dynamics. There are heavy songs, acoustic songs, and guest vocals from bands we shared the stage with. It has something for everyone and we are extremely proud of it.
PHNTMS has expressed that through music you all hope to help people realize that no matter how they identify, that their identity is valid. Why is it important to you all that you create music that resonates in that way?
It’s important to us because we want to create music and ideas that we feel passionate and strong about, everything we do has meaning behind it, not just empty ideas or gimmicks. Real substantial emotions is what we are all about, and being true to yourself.
What is one quote that you have heard or that you go by that you want to ECHO out to the world?
I’ve known Fred Mascherino from [the bands] The Color Fred and Taking Back Sunday for years now and really look up to him not just on a musical level but on a life level. He has always told me the reason why things work out is you don’t have a plan B you just have a plan A. The second you start to doubt yourself it’s over, you do you, stick to your beliefs and what you want to do, don’t wait around for anyone, that’s the first step towards failure.